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A Study Of Educational Inequalities In South Carolina

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A Study Of Educational Inequalities In South Carolina

Published 1936

A documentary produced by the National Association For the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on the racial disparities in the education provided in South Carolina public schools. The film was produced by the NAACP in its drive to desegregate schools which ultimately led to the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown vs Board of Education. We are shown what "seperate but equal" means in the ramshackle conditions of many school, dozens of young children piling into cars, the disparity in state funding and many other facets of the educational reality for Negro students.

In addition to the full documentary approximately 35 minutes of outtakes from the film is available. The outtakes notably contain footage of Mary McLeod Bethune.

Produced in partnership with the Harmon Foundation. This version was dubbed from VHS video from the Harmon Collection at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

Production Company Harmon Foundation
Sponsor National Association For the Advancement of Colored People
Audio/Visual silent, b&w


Reel 1: Maps and charts show inequities from 1920-33. Homes, shacks, farms and Negro farmers at work. Students enter segregated schools.

Reel 2: Negroes enter and leave church. Contrasts facilities and transportation in Negro and white schools; charts support claims.

Reel 3: Charts provide statistics. White children board buses; Negro children walk or hitch-hike. Clinton Normal and Industrial College, founded by American Methodist Episcopal Zionist Church. Friendship Baptist College, Rock Hill, supported by Negro Baptists.


Reel 1: Poor housing and school near modern school for whites. Boarded up stores and houses in Negro section. Poor classroom lighting. Bus brings white students to Bedford Country School. Compares recreational facilities. Negro children work on harvest.

Reel 2: Negro children pose near dilapidated Fern Cliff school bus; Negro children walk to school. Bus picks up white children; white children play outside Thaxton School, Campus scenes at Maryland State Normal School for Negro teacher training at Bowie. Farmland; grazing cows; sow and piglets. In Tennessee, poor white farm family. Negroes wait on bread line conducted at public school by Emergency Relief of Tennessee Administration.

Reel 3: Montage of Negro life in South Carolina includes housing, Negro governesses with white children, small frame schoolhoused, Negro children at play during recess, and poor farm land. Mary McLeod Bethune comes out of house, poses, and receives a trophy.


Reviewer: LeGrande - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 21, 2010
Subject: A must-watch for students of history
Even though this is a silent film with no music, it offers an authentic look at rural life in the southern U.S. during the Great Depression. The disparities in things such as teachers' salaries nearly made me cry. To put this in perspective: it's very likely that some of the students in the schools filmed are still alive today. This was not that long ago.

This is a hidden historical gem in the Internet Archive. Take advantage of it.
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